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Did Population Well-being Improve During Porfirian Mexico? A Regional Analysis using a Quasi-Human Development Index


  • Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez
  • Roberto Vélez-Grajales


It is argued that economic growth during the Porfiriato did not improve the well-being of the Mexican population. One explanation for such result is that the economic growth pattern was skewed and benefited more the northern states and less the southern ones. Following the estimation method of the Human Development Index, we calculate a Quasi-Human Development Index for the Mexican states during the period 1895--1910. Results show that at the start of the period (1895) the northern states were already the most developed. During the next 15 years this pattern was maintained and the dispersion in human development increased marginally. Finally, it is shown that the true losers of the Porfiriato were the states surrounding Mexico City and not the southern ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez & Roberto Vélez-Grajales, 2012. "Did Population Well-being Improve During Porfirian Mexico? A Regional Analysis using a Quasi-Human Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 597-620, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:13:y:2012:i:4:p:597-620
    DOI: 10.1080/19452829.2012.693066

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Komlos, 1994. "Stature, Living Standards, and Economic Development: Essays in Anthropometric History," Books by John Komlos, Department of Economics, University of Munich, number 11, September.
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